Forgive me Father, it’s been 16 days since my last funny blog post.
You cannot imagine the pressure I’ve been under lately. Mind-boggling. When a little unexpected cash came my way recently – legally I might add – I was thinking about what I should do with it. I could have and should have put it towards some pretty stimulating expenses like the credit card, fixing the dishwasher and getting the carpets steam cleaned, but I really wanted to spend it on myself. So I took a leap of faith and registered for the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop in Dayton, Ohio. I had been thinking of taking my writing to the next level by attending a writer’s workshop. I realize that taking my writing to the next level might actually mean taking my writing to the recycle bin, but that’s ok.
So, now it’s been two weeks since I returned from the workshop and I haven’t written anything funny. It’s causing me a great deal of stress and chardonnaiety. The bar on Funny has been ratcheted up a few notches and I suddenly have Amuse-Anxiety. Surely there is a support group for that?
Hi my name is Astra. It’s been 16 days since I wrote something funny.
What if I post something and it’s not funny? What if I get no cackles and snortles and get only a couple of ahems and smirks? That’s simply not good enough for me anymore. I’ve been Erma-lightened. I’m good with Snarky but I need a little Side-Splitting Slapstick.
As I write this, I’m imagining the University of Dayton scouring the blogs and books of us attendees to see if we actually learned anything. I imagine they are slowly weeding out humour imposters in a devious plot to create a purer breed of humourist for the 2014 conference. If I don’t be Funny, they may stumble upon this one and I’ll be revealed. I’ll be on the Not Funny list. I don’t want to be on the Not Funny list. No one who’s attended the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop wants to be on the Not Funny list. It’s enough to make me turn a whiter shade of pinot grigio.
“So? So? How was it?!” several friends and family members have asked me since my return.
Oh, God! Again, with the pressure?!
I’ve spent considerable amount of time these last two weeks reading all these outrageously funny blog posts of other conference attendees (now we’re talking not just the Funny list, but the Funny A-List) that had me peeing my pants … all over again. I’m am writing every day, just like a good girl, though I’ve started at least a half dozen blog posts that have piddled out (smirk) before I find the proper finishing punch line.
And there’s Erma…
I’m overwhelmed (you’ve probably realized that already – and the fact that I have an over-active imagination!), but I realize now that attending this conference was just part of setting my stage and I think it’s ok to have stage fright while doing that, right? Who am I writing for anyway? As Nancy Berk said, “Being in a room with 350 accomplished or aspiring humor writers can panic even the most confident. Is there room for me? The answer is – ‘Yes’ – if you use what you learn.” I’m trying not to second guess myself too much when I recall Anna Lefler telling me to “…hone my craft, become a better writer and avoid premature e-publication.” But most of all I am starting with Kyran Pittman‘s profoundly simple statement that I will take to heart: “Real writers … write”. So, I am gathering all their advice in the first of many steps in kick-starting my writing goals….
Just do it …
Of course the greatest of inspiration comes from Erma herself, “It is probably true that every person has a book in him fighting to get out. What is crucial is that if something is going to happen, the wannabe writer has to commit by putting all those hopes and dreams on the line. It’s time to stop talking about clever titles and get the book written.”
Thank you, Erma
and all those from whom I learned and by whom I was inspired at EBWW 2012
And now let’s move on to clever book titles…